31/03/2021

๐ŸŽผ ActRaiser | Original Soundtrack & Symphonic Suite | (Vinyl) | Review | "A Pristine Pressing, Ready To Get Some Serious Spins On a Lot of Turntables." | ๐ŸŽผ @wayorecords #VideoGameSoundtracks

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Wayo Records - https://www.wayorecords.com/

A gorgeous, coloured double-vinyl edition of Yuzo Koshiro’s 1990 score comprising of the original soundtrack and an orchestral suite, this sumptuous release from Wayo Records is a pristine pressing, ready to get some serious spins on a lot of turntables.

Yuzo Koshiro’s work just prior to ActRaiser was 1989’s The Revenge of Shinobi, an energetic and modern-sounding (for the time) score that was different to ActRaiser’s more orchestral tunes. Naturally, both are of extremely high quality, as would be expected from the man behind Streets of Rage 2. 

The rich cover illustration by Ayano Koshiro hints at the epic sounds within. Presented on blue-marbled records, Wayo Records’ ActRaiser is definitely one of the most visually striking in my collection. A deep, almost thoughtful blue, the pressing is as immaculate as it is pretty. 

The main, remastered soundtrack vinyl is clear and bright and covers a lot of genre-ground whilst still feeling thematically central. From the expansive, positive marching drums that open the album through the organ-driven, ominous melancholia of Sky Palace; the driving, midi slap-bass (one of my favourite sounds) of Advent; the jovial lightness of Pyramid-Marahna to the gentle harp strumming and flute work of Northwall and the celebrative brass of World Tree, ActRaiser keeps changing things up throughout its runtime and really stretches the Super Famicom sound chip for all that it was worth.

Track List:

  1. Opening

  2. Sky Palace

  3. Advent

  4. Fillmore

  5. Beast Appears

  6. Round Clear

  7. Bloodpool – Kasandora

  8. Aitos – Temple

  9. Powerful Enemy

  10. Pyramid – Marahna

  11. Northwall

  12. World Tree

  13. Satan

  14. Silence

  15. Birth of the People

  16. Level Up

  17. Offering

  18. Peaceful World

  19. Ending

The second disc is the Symphonic Suite, performed by the New Japan BGM Philharmonic Orchestra in 2018 at the Ancient Festival at the Aplico Municipal Hall, Tokyo. With a full, rich sound performed impeccably, this record features:


  1. Opening/ Sky Palace / Advent / Fillmore

  2. Birth of the People / Level Up / Offering

  3. Bloodpool – Kasandora / Beast Appears / Round Clear

  4. Pyramid – Marahna

  5. Aitos – Temple

  6. Northwall

  7. World Tree

  8. Powerful Enemy / Satan

  9. Silence / Peaceful World / Ending

It is a testament to the quality of Yuzo Koshiro’s writing that it feels so seamless when performed as a live and orchestral suite of music and is the perfect accompaniment to the original soundtrack.

Included in the sleeve is also a full-size booklet containing details on the credits and New Japan BGM Philharmonic Orchestra as well as comments by composer Yuzo Koshiro, conductor Yusuke Ichihara and arranger Nijuhachi Haneda, each vocalising the personal importance and passion they have towards ActRaiser and even hinting at a possible worldwide tour…which I would quite clearly attend!

I have never played ActRaiser and so can’t comment on the game but purely in terms of this audio release, it stands up there with the best in my collection both in terms of looks and sound quality. One I’d recommend to not only fans of the game but also to those who perhaps enjoyed Data Discs’ Panzer Dragoon and The Greatest Video Game Music by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, majestic music for the masses!


Wayo Records’ ActRaiser can be purchased from - https://www.wayorecords.com/en/vinyls/674-actraiser-original-soundtrack-symphonic-suite-vinyl.html

Britt

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